NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 159

Kwame turned sharply, his face knotted. “Anyika, hold up a minute! Let’s stop right here, right now, and see if we’re talking about the same story. I gave you a story about the South at the height of a voter registration drive spearheaded by black college students. A story about murderous lawmen, Ku Klux Klansmen, a backsliding, liberal white boy, and an old black sharecropper who was broken because he trusted the word of an Oreo fieldworker who didn’t know where his head was at until it was too late. And you say there wasn’t enough love in it? No, wait a minute, let me get this right: that there wasn’t enough beauty in it!! Are you out of your frickin’ mind? That’s not what the story is about! It’s about how we—black people— leave ourselves wide open whenever we vacillate about who the enemy is and start trying to straddle the fence. Before you know it, we’re hanging out with them…shooting a game of pool… sharing a ‘brew-sky’ or whatever! And we get wasted every fucking time!! I can’t believe you could’ve read the story I wrote and still come at me with a funny farm analysis like that. What if it had been a story about slavery? Or better yet, a lynching? Am I supposed to find “beauty” in that shit? Huh? Am I supposed to love those racist, low-life bastards too?” He said just short of a scream. 157 Two steps past the entryway the sunlight stopped dead. Kwame ventured forward, steadying himself as he peered into the darkness. Curiosity goaded him and he stumbled along for several more steps, clutching the wall as the cave spiraled downward like the belly of a whale. He held on tight to a craggy shelf as a woebegone wail pimpled his body with goose bumps. The sound was so present that for a moment he felt like he was trapped inside a conch shell. He contemplated retreat as he gazed upward toward a dim shaft of light near the opening. A few feet more, he told himself, and he was bound to reach the cave floor. Again he was torn, but a clot of raw, tender emotion clawed at his gut, egging him on. Just then a spray of tide water heaved upward from the cave’s belly startling him. His body pitched forward and he plummeted into the blackness, landing on his back like a capsized crab. “I know that what I have to say is something you don’t want to hear,” she went on. “My God!” she burst into cryptic laughter. “I don’t even want to say it! I knew that before I came today, and that’s why I took so long at the market. I literally had to make myself come here.” She fell silent. “Kwame, I didn’t like most of your story because it…it didn’t have any beauty in it,” she said ingenuously. I mean, t B??\?X?\???\?H?[?H[?H??H?\??[?K?[?]?\??X[\?X?[??Y? ???]]?\????Y8?)?]X????YH\?Y?B?]?\??X[HZ?H]??\?]?\?\?x?&\?Y?K\?x?&\?????H??YH?X]]HH]??\?\???K]8?&\?[x?'H?H?ZY \?????[??X]Y?H[?[??Y[?\?]Y? ?8?'[?]?\?\?K????'H?H?[???8?'\?H[???H?\??[X^?[????[?\?8?'B??H???YY[[??[?H?\?\?????'?]]??YH?[?[?H??x?%B?????X?]\?HH?[]H[?Y[??[?H[Y?X???%[?H?Y?[???Y[?Z?H]?\???^H????H[?[?\???\?X?\??X^X?x?)?X^X?H]?\??X?]\?H]?\??\???\?8?)?[??[?x?&\?H?Y? ]\??\?H\? H????[?H]?H????^[?[?H?[??H???X\??X?H[X[???[?\?Y\??]?\??&]]?]\?\???[YO???&]?[?H?YO??'H?HXYY ?8?']8?&\??[??[?\??\?X?\??]XZ?\?[B?[X[??]8?&\??[??[H]XZ?\[H]?K]?]?\?[H??\???'B???P???S?RT??S??H??T?B??]?\?H^?H?[?^HY?\????[??HX?H?\?[?]\?\?Y ??\?[??\??\??\??H???Y\?[?\?YY?\??\?H??Y]H?]K???H[??YHB??X?[?\???\?[? H]\?Y??[??B??\?H?Y\?[??H?\?X??]??B??[???Y??[?\?^Y\??\?H?]???H??[X[??\??Y???Z[?????B??Z[?H[H???]\?Y??????[??Y?B?????X?[?\]Z\Y[? ?\?X???[??H?Y\?[? ?\??\?HH?Y???B?\??X?H[??Z\??[XY[????[?H?]?H?\???H?Z[ ???[YH?Y\?Y???\??\?Y??]H\?\??Y]?\??YY?[H\??\?\?X?H??\?H?]K?????B??[\??\Y\???H\?H?Z\??Y[[???0?Z???H?\?\?[K?HX[?Y?[??YKX\?[?H?\??\?Y?HH????[??Z\?]?\?\??Y\??X?K????'[?Y?8?)???^x?)?HX\?[?Hx?'H[?ZZ?B??ZY ??[?\?H?[???H??[Yx?&\?[??B???[?\???[??]?K?????H???H?\??Y????X?[?X??\?H????^?[???]?H?[???8?'HYZ]]B???&]???[?][??X??]H??\???^H?]?[X]HH??K?H?X[H??&]????[?][??X??]??XZ???[?Z[???\?X?\??[??Y[Y[????]]?\????H\?H?\?????YK????[YKx?&[H??H]\?\?H?]X?[?B???&]?[???K??]H?????[??H^\?Y[??H??Y][??[?H?\?Z[???^KZ?HH?^HH?[?[?H?XY?[?\???x?%H[\?\??[??H?X?\??H????H???]]?\?\?[???)????Y][???X[ ?[?[H?X[H?\?B?X??]\??]H??HXZ?\?YH?Y[ ??H?\?[?x?&[]?H??]??Y]?\?B?[?K???H??YX??H[?K??????Q?S L? L?[?? MM??K?L??L? L??SB??